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AN EXAMINATION OF THE SAFETY OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSON IN REFUGEE CAMPS ACROSS THE GAZA STRIPE

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AN EXAMINATION OF THE SAFETY OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSON IN REFUGEE CAMPS ACROSS THE GAZA STRIPE


 CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

Refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) have been compelled to evacuate their homes, either as individuals or collectives. Although there are some similarities between the lives of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), it is important to acknowledge that there are notable distinctions as well. Refugees, when crossing international boundaries, possess inherent entitlements to protection and support from the host nations as well as from the international community, facilitated by the United Nations (UN) and its specialised agencies (OCHA, 2022). Internally displaced persons (IDPs), in contrast, experience displacement inside the borders of their own nation. While international law generally offers protection to those who have been internally displaced, it is important to note that there is currently no special international law or established norm that expressly addresses the rights and needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs). Furthermore, there is no United Nations organisation that has been specifically tasked with the responsibility of safeguarding the well-being and welfare of IDPs.According to Anthony (2023), the 1998 Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, also known as the Guiding Principles, define internally displaced persons as individuals or collectives who have been compelled or coerced to evacuate or abandon their residences or habitual dwellings. This displacement is primarily motivated by the desire to evade or mitigate the consequences of armed conflict, instances of widespread violence, human rights transgressions, or calamities of natural or anthropogenic origin. Importantly, these individuals have not crossed an internationally recognised national boundary. The phenomenon of flight may be attributed to several factors, including armed conflict and other manifestations of mass violence. The concept encompasses both persons and organisations. Civilian internally displaced persons (IDPs) are safeguarded by several tools within the framework of international humanitarian and human rights law. The aforementioned legal instruments include the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1977 Additional Protocol. These instruments, among several provisions, establish the prohibition for parties involved in an armed conflict to engage in the arbitrary displacement of civilian populations (Vivian, 2023). Another important mechanism to consider is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which serves to create and protect the human rights of women (refer to the chapter on human rights). Nevertheless, there is currently no singular system that has been especially developed to address the rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs). Since the early 1990s, there has been a rising global apprehension over internally displaced persons (IDPs) due to their escalating population figures and an enhanced recognition of their susceptibility. The aforementioned concern was shown in the year 1992 by the designation of the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General on Internally Displaced Persons, as documented by Irene (2023). The Guiding Principles were formulated by the Special Representative in order to provide clarity about the status and rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs), as well as to outline the respective duties of various entities towards them (see to the accompanying box). Although lacking legal enforceability, these principles are derived from and align with established laws and norms.

The ongoing war between Israel and Palestine, namely the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, persists in giving rise to significant humanitarian challenges for the Palestinian communities residing in Gaza and the West Bank. Approximately 2.1 million individuals of Palestinian descent, constituting a significant proportion of the overall population of 5.3 million, are now facing a pressing need for humanitarian aid. According to Nancy, Youssef, Gordon, and Lubold (2023), the West Bank, which includes East Jerusalem, is home to around 800,000 individuals in need, while the Gaza Strip accommodates over 1.3 million individuals in similar circumstances. The persistence of prolonged war, the Israeli military occupation, the imposition of the Gaza barrier, transgressions against international humanitarian and human rights norms, internal divides within the Palestinian political landscape, and intermittent episodes of intensifying hostilities together contribute to the ongoing humanitarian need (Heba, 2023). The prolonged humanitarian situation in Palestine has led to severe humanitarian ramifications, such as limited availability of essential services and forced relocation. Individuals experiencing hardship encounter a dearth of sufficient healthcare support due to an overwhelmed healthcare infrastructure, insufficient housing facilities, insecurity in accessing nourishment, and heightened levels of poverty and unemployment. Palestinian individuals residing in the West Bank encounter significant obstacles in terms of safeguarding their fundamental rights, including the preservation of their lives, personal freedoms, security, property, and unrestricted mobility. These issues are exacerbated by a notable absence of mechanisms for holding responsible parties accountable and providing adequate redress for grievances. Since 2006, the Gaza Strip has been subjected to a blockade that has resulted in restrictions on the importation of essential commodities like as gasoline and other basic supplies. Additionally, this embargo has impeded the freedom of movement for those entering or exiting the region. Therefore, the researcher sought to examine  the safety of internally displaced person in refugee camps across the Gaza stripe.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Individuals who have experienced displacement, whether it be within the confines of their nation or across international boundaries, sometimes find themselves compelled to abandon the majority of their material things, retaining just a select few.

In the majority of instances, individuals go on arduous journeys spanning considerable distances in their quest for sanctuary, often relying on their own locomotion. The act of flying may be physically and mentally demanding, as it presents several challenges. These challenges include the potential loss of communication between family members, the difficult decision of leaving behind ill and elderly relatives, and the heightened vulnerability of refugees to violent attacks and exploitation throughout their journey (MAS, 2021). The experience of being forcibly displaced from one's place of residence and being separated from family members contributes to the distressing encounters that individuals often face before to and during their migration. The absence of linguistic proficiency and unfamiliarity with unfamiliar environments, in conjunction with apprehension and distress over events occurring in one's country of origin, contribute to further challenges. Internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees are often forcibly separated from their familiar surroundings and economic assets (Emanuel, 2023). Consequently, individuals have experienced a loss of their sources of income and the ability to generate self-sustaining lifestyles. Nevertheless, the ongoing military attacks on Gaza conducted by the Israeli armed forces have raised significant apprehension within the international community regarding the well-being of internally displaced individuals. Particularly distressing is the unfortunate loss of life, particularly among children, as well as the severe injuries sustained by some individuals. These casualties have been attributed to collateral damage resulting from the crisis, as acknowledged by the Israeli administration. Hence, the need to look into the safety of internally displaced person in refugee camps across the Gaza stripe.

1.3       Objective of the study

The broad objective of the study is to examination of the safety of internally displaced person in refugee camps across the Gaza stripe. The specific objectives is as follows

i.          Examine the reason for internal displacement in  the Gaza stripe.

ii.        Assess the effect of the Israeli -Palestinian crisis on the humanitarian suspension of delivery of aid in Gaza.

iii.      Find out the challenges in the safety of internally displaced person in refugee camps across the Gaza stripe.

1.4       Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study

i.          What are the reason for internal displacement in  the Gaza stripe?

ii.        What are the effect of the Israeli -Palestinian crisis on the humanitarian suspension of delivery of aid in Gaza?

iii.      What are the challenges in the safety of internally displaced person in refugee camps across the Gaza stripe?

1.5       Significance of the study

The findings of the study will be significant to both the Israeli and Palestinian government as it will reveal the extent to which internally displaced persons have been affected due to the on going crisis and going further, IDP camps should be provided some level of protection from air strikes and other forms of attacks.

The findings of the study will be significant to the acacdemic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.

1.6       Scope of the study

The study focuses on the safety of internally displaced person in refugee camps across the Gaza stripe. Hence, the study will examine the reason for internal displacement in  the Gaza stripe, assess the effect of the Israeli -Palestinian crisis on the humanitarian suspension of delivery of aid in Gaza and find out the challenges in the safety of internally displaced person in refugee camps across the Gaza stripe.

1.7       Limitation of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced

1.8       Definition of terms

Safety: the condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury

Internally displaced persons: "persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed



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